One of the more prominent questions within the gaming in world is the definition of a hardcore or casual game. A misconception arises when individuals attempt to categorize a game based on their own personal experience of it.
For example, if a player of whom plays a game for 1 hour a day, they would be classified as a Casual Gamer, but the game isn’t essentially categorized in this same manner.
I believe that the way in which you categorize a game itself is down to personal preference. I could say that from experience Mass Effect 3 is a Hardcore Game because I’ve played over 200 hours of it, yet someone of whom has played for less time and at a less frequent pace could easily classify it as a Casual Game because of there preference.
So, the way i see the classification comes down to one easily distinguished point. And that is the complexity of the game itself. If a game is designed to be easily played and is targeted at individuals of whom don’t have to put much effort or time into said game, then i believe this is what would classify as Casual Game.
As for Hardcore, again it depends on preference but i believe that it’s distinguished by the complexity of the game. If it has a story based campaign level that takes a minimum of 8-10 hours to complete and requires the individual to put the time and effort in, this is what i would classify as a Hardcore Game.
Overall, the classification in my opinion between Hardcore and Casual Games is the complexity in design issue. The easier a game is in design and scope, the increasingly casual the game is and the more complex and time consuming a game becomes the more hardcore it is.